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New Gene Associated with Doubled Alzheimer’s Disease Risk in African Americans

April 11, 2013
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

Research Summary:
DNAA large consortium of researchers, including scientists funded by BrightFocus for other projects, has discovered that a certain variation of the gene ABCA7 is associated with an almost doubled increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease in African Americans. This is the first gene that has been identified with a uniquely increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer's in African Americans as compared to people with European ancestry. A second gene, called ApoE, strongly increases the risk for individuals with African American and European ancestry.

Once the findings have been confirmed in other studies, this may clear the way for the future development of new disease detection methods, preventions, and treatments.



BrightFocus Foundation is currently funding Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D. for a related Alzheimer’s Disease Research project, titled the “Whole Exome Sequencing in Alzheimer Disease. She is also a current grantee for another project involving macular degeneration.  MDR project:

In addition, the BrightFocus Foundation has awarded research funding for unrelated projects to the following authors of this study, including members of the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium:

  • Current Alzheimer’s Disease Research Grantees:
    • Steven E. Arnold, M.D. (1)
    • Bradley T. Hyman, M.D., Ph.D. (1)
  • Former Alzheimer’s Disease Research Grantees:
    • Thomas Bird, M.D. (1)
    • Bradley T. Hyman, M.D., Ph.D. (1)
    • Frank M. LaFerla, Ph.D. (1)
    • James Lah, M.D., Ph.D.  (1)
    • Erik D. Roberson, M.D., Ph.D. (1)
    • Gerard Schellenberg, Ph.D. (1,2,3)
    • Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. (1,2,3,4)
    • Linda J. Van Eldik, Ph.D. (1)
  • Current Macular Degeneration Research Grantees:
    • Jonathan L. Haines, Ph.D. (1)
  • Former Macular Degeneration Research Grantees:
    • Jonathan L. Haines, Ph.D. (1)
  • Have served as an advisor on BrightFocus Foundation’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Scientific Review Committee:
    • Edward H. Koo, M.D. (chair)
    • Douglas Galasko, M.D.
    • Matthew Frosch, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Alison Goate, D.Phil.
    • Allan I. Levey, M.D. Ph.D.
    • Gerard Schellenberg, Ph.D.
    • Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

View all news updates for Alzheimer's disease

Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation, and should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional, and is not intended to constitute medical advice. Although we take efforts to keep the medical information on our website updated, we cannot guarantee that the information on our website reflects the most up-to-date research. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice; all medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy.

Some of the content in this section is adapted from other sources, which are clearly identified within each individual item of information.

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